Definition of standard office environments for evaluating the impact of office furniture emissions on indoor VOC concentrations

Randal D. Carter, Jianshun S. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A representative "worst-case" office environment, which defines the size and volume of the office space, the amount and type of office furniture surface area, and the outdoor, clean airflow rate is necessary to estimate the impact of office furniture emissions on indoor VOC concentrations based on the emission rates measured from chamber tests. In this study, 31 randomly selected floor plans from North American office buildings were analyzed in detail. The floor plans were from projects in late 2004 and early 2005 and were provided by an industry cross section of seven major office furniture manufacturers. The analysis included documenting the potential emitting surface area for each workstation and a determination of how much common office space (aisles, etc.) was present and shared between workstations and other adjoining spaces. The 90th percentile conditions for total furniture surface area within the 50th percentile workstation footprint sizes were identified from the more than 5000 workstations analyzed to provide a representative "worst-case" office environment model (i.e., occupant exposure scenario). Based on the analysis, the representative "worst-case" standard open plan office environment for a single workstation system is defined as 5.94 m2 (64 ft 2) floor area by 2.74 m (9 ft) high (576 ft3 or 16.3 m3), accounting for a standard 1.83 m × 1.83 m (6 ft × 6 ft) open plan workstation system, traffic area, and support space for shared copiers, files, storage, etc. The space is assumed to be occupied by a single occupant and has an outdoor or clean air ventilation rate of 4.17 L/s (8.84 cfm), in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004. The representative "worst-case" standard private office environment for a single workstation system is defined as 23.78 m2 (256ft2) floor area by 2.74 m (9ft) high (2304 ft3 or 65.2 m3), accounting for a standard 13.38 m2 (144 ft2) private office workstation system, traffic area, and support space for shared copiers, files, storage, etc. The space is assumed to be occupied by a single occupant and has an outdoor or clean air ventilation rate of 9.63 L/s (20.4 cfm) in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004. A comparison to historical office environment models is included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-477
Number of pages12
JournalASHRAE Transactions
Volume113 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Event2007 ASHRAE Annual Meeting - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2007Jun 27 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering

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